The Secretary of the Department of Internal Security (DHS), Kirstjen Nielsen, said that the new report on the international terrorist threat is “chilling”. What is really chilling is the manipulation of figures in defence of banning entry of Muslims into the United States.
Terrorism is a real danger that the Trump administration does not seem to worry much about.
Except to use it as a political instrument in the migration debate.
A sample of this is a joint report of the Department of Justice and DHS proclaiming in its headline that “Three out of four convicts of international terrorism and terrorism-related offences were foreigners.”
Reality is that it is not known that in the period since 9/11 until 2016 more Americans died in this country as a result of domestic terrorism than of international terrorism.
Yet a study by the Office of the Comptroller General of April 2017 estimated that “extremist groups of the extreme right” committed 73% of the deadly attacks in the United States between those dates.
The study says that in more than 15 years, 549 individuals were convicted of charges related to international terrorism. This is a broader category of crime that includes crimes that are not defined within the specific charge of terrorism.
One hundred and forty-seven are natives of the United States and 254 are not US citizens. Of the latter, it is estimated that 90 of them were extradited, they did not live here.
There are another 148 who are Americans by naturalisation. These convicts are especially noted because they serve to argue the dangers of letting in Muslim refugees, with relatives in the United States and winners of the visa lottery .
The magnitude of the threat that is wanted to show dissolves in the reality.
It is necessary to take into account that figure among the nearly 11 million people who were brought by relatives in that period, the 750,000 who came for the visa lottery and the one million refugees who arrived in that period.
It is regrettable that the only purpose of the report is to promote a current immigration position. It is an untapped opportunity to really tighten security.
It is impossible to draw a serious conclusion about terrorism in the United States if the domestic is ignored.
It would have been more positive to see why the radicalisation of natives and residents after being many years in the country to do something about it. Instead he dealt exclusively with accusing foreign Muslims.
This is not a way to take public safety seriously.